Lottery often gives aid to affluent, takes from poor

A portion of every Massachusetts lottery ticket sold goes to the state's Unrestricted General Government Aid fund, a program that provides local aid to cities and towns. Does your town get back more, or less, than it provides to the fund? Use the look-up tool below to find out.

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Per capita, provided net lottery ticket revenue to the fund than it received.
per capita


per capita


What is Unrestricted General Government Aid?

About 20 percent of lottery proceeds pay for the Unrestricted General Government Aid program, making up about 96.7 percent of the total program funding. Municipalities use Unrestricted General Government Aid money, which totaled about $900 million in 2013, to repair roads, fund school programs, hire police officers, and pay for other services. The local aid is distributed according to a formula based on a community’s population and property values.

Population Median Household Income Poverty Rate

In 2013, per capita lottery ticket spending in was:

Per day
Per year

Similar Municipalities

Municipality Lottery sales contributed State aid received

*This table compares similar municipalties to based on an equally weighted proximity to population, median household income, and poverty rate.

DATA: Massachusetts State Lottery Commission (2013), Massachusetts Department of Revenue (2013), US Census

Catherine Cloutier, Elaina Natario, Russell Goldenberg / Globe Staff

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